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Gov. signs new laws to protect Illinois nursing home patients

Victims of nursing home neglect or abuse certainly have a right to seek compensation for their injuries or for a loved one’s wrongful death in Chicago. Sadly, nursing home abuse or neglect often results in fatal injuries due to residents’ frail and poor medical conditions.

Although obtaining compensation is important for victims of medical malpractice, many nursing home abuse and neglect victims and their families also think it is just as important that they make sure others in the community are aware of their experiences.

Nursing home residents should never become victims of abuse or die from injuries because they were neglected by staff. When these terrible incidents do occur, families and patient safety groups often request that lawmakers do a better job of protecting nursing home residents.

To address some senior safety concerns in our state, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed several new laws last month that will help to better protect our state’s senior citizens and nursing home residents.

One law is specifically aimed at helping patients who are somehow able to wander away from their nursing homes. House Bill 5009, which is effective immediately, requires all facilities in the state to make sure that nursing home residents’ identification bands include phone numbers so that facilities can easily be contacted when a resident does get lost.

Another law that was signed by Gov. Quinn to increase senior patient safety is Senate Bill 680. Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, all nurses and care providers will be required to participate in training that addresses how to safely lift patients who are frail. This required training will hopefully prevent many patients’ injuries that are caused by falls from poor handling by staff each year in nursing homes.

Gov. Quinn also signed several other laws last month that are meant to prevent senior citizens from becoming victims of financial exploitation and elder abuse at home.

Source: Evansville Courier & Press, “Illinois protects its senior citizens,” Len Wells, July 29, 2012


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